Apple Partners With Japan Post Group and IBM to Provide iPads to Elderly

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Apple today announced a "first-of-its-kind initiative" that will see the Cupertino company partnering with Japan Post Group and IBM to bring IBM-developed apps and analytics into the hands of senior citizens in Japan. The project hopes to connect its customers with apps related to services, healthcare, community, and family.

The initial plan sees Japan Post Group entering the service into a test phase, with expansion planned in stages and the final objective of the initiative being 4 million to 5 million customers in Japan by 2020. As a raw statistic, currently more than 33 million senior citizens collectively make up about 25 percent of Japan's population, so the elderly-focused initiative announced today definitely has room to grow and expand in the future.

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“This initiative has potential for global impact, as many countries face the challenge of supporting an aging population, and we are honored to be involved in supporting Japan’s senior citizens and helping enrich their lives,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “iPad is incredibly intuitive, easy to use and has accessibility features built in, making it a perfect device for any generation to be connected and engaged.”

“We are joining with two of the world’s most respected leaders in technology to bring our elderly generation into the connected world, expand our businesses by deepening relationships, and discover new ways to strengthen the fabric of our society and economy,” said Taizo Nishimuro, CEO of Japan Post Group.

Some of the new apps debuting on the service will include experiences custom-built by IBM Global Business Services, reminding customers with alerts for medication, diet, and exercise. Other apps will directly connect its customers to a larger community, showcasing various activities, possible job listings, and provide basic service support for grocery shopping. Previously, Apple has partnered with IBM for a lineup of enterprise apps called MobileFirst, a service which the two have continuously expanded upon in the months since it was announced.

According to today's press release, IBM plans to bring analytic and accessibility technology to the initiative, providing ease-of-use to its elderly customers and ensuring a positive experience. Japan Post Group, under its parent company Japan Post Holdings, provides postal and package delivery services, banking services, and life insurance to "nearly all" of the around 115 million adults in Japan, which angles the company to provide a wider reach for the elderly-focused initiative in the long run.

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Top Rated Comments

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72 months ago
Hope it works out better than it did with students and the Los Angeles public school system.
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72 months ago
Too bad iOS has become such a confusing mess.
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72 months ago

I keep asking about results from the IBM partnership. All I hear is that there is a long lead time, which is true, but hasn't been over a year since it was announced? I have heard of apps being released, but I have not heard of a single enterprise adopting anything from this venture. You know that if someone had, either IBM or Apple would have been broadcasting that pretty loudly.

This new partnership for the elderly seems like a great idea and I hope this goes better than the entrerprise deal that seems to be stuck in the same quagmire as HomeKit.


I thought the same thing a while back. It would almost be better to announce the partnership once they have a few concrete things under their belt, then talk about the other initiatives.

This is pretty cool though. I like when companies do things that benefit people personally as well as their own interest. Same with Samsung and their visual callcenter for the deaf. Their video introducing the service is one of the best ads I've seen in a long time. Bradl posted it in a separate thread. Fair warning: the video will cause you to have dust in your eye.
//www.youtube.com/watch?t=155&v=UrvaSqN76h4
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72 months ago
This is a great idea! I only wonder why it took so long. I have several elderly friends. Instead of a computer, I encouraged them to get an iPad instead and they love it. Not only is it infinitely more intuitive than a standard PC, being able to easily zoom in on websites and e-mails makes it great for that demographic, where eyesight is often gradually diminishing.
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